Romany and Tom

  • by Ben Watt
  • Narrated by Ben Watt
  • 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ben Watt’s father was a working-class Glaswegian jazz musician - a politicized left-wing bandleader and composer - whose heyday in the late 1950s took him into the glittering heart of London’s West End. His mother, Romany, the daughter of a Methodist parson, was a Shakespearean actress who had triplets in her first marriage before becoming a leading showbiz feature writer and columnist in the ’60s and ’70s. They were both divorced and from very different backgrounds, and they came together at a fateful New Year’s Day party in 1957 like colliding trains.
Romany and Tom is Ben Watt’s honest, sometimes painful, and often funny portrait of his parents’ exceptional lives and marriage, depicted in a personal journey from his own wide-eyed London childhood, through years as an adult with children and a career of his own, to that inevitable point when we must assume responsibility for our own parents in their old age. Spanning several decades - and drawing on a rich seam of family letters, souvenirs, photographs, public archives, and personal memories - it is a vivid story of the postwar years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, big band jazz, depression and drink, life in clubs and nursing homes. It is also about who we are, where we come from, and how we love and live with each other for the long term.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Moving

What did you like most about Romany and Tom?

A really moving account of the lives of Ben Watt's mother and father. Recommended even if you are not a fan of Ben's music as it focuses very little on this , but on the complex relationship of his parents, their struggles, talents, addictions and their ageing..

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tom & Romany

What does Ben Watt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Beautifully read by Ben..Only he could recount such a personal story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Highly recommended.

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- Mad Jeff

How Beautiful

I loved it, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it was beautiful, a real story about a complicated family, all with such interesting characters! Wished I could see some photographs of the people! Would love to watch it as a film & I want to play Romany please. Hehe! Thank You Ben Watt, your Pa Tommy was spot on you are a lovely kind man, without out judgement a credit to you parents! xxx
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- Clementine Beresford

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-05-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury